Lim Chee Siong, CMO for Huawei Southern Pacific Region, explains Huawei’s role in a rapidly-evolving ICT industry and his views on technology trends for 2017
Vision 2017: How does Huawei see its role in leading and initiating ICT markets?
Lim Chee Siong: Huawei is contributing to the development of a cloud ecosystem. Borrowing a rich set of metaphors from the natural world, Huawei is the “soil” and “energy” in the ICT ecosystem of a budding smart society. In this role, the company aims to serve as a platform for growth, and support strong alliances that push the industry forward and promote ongoing social progress.
Society as we know it is developing towards a smart society. In this environment, it simply won’t be possible for any company to compete on its own. All industries from healthcare to education will become more interconnected, more complex. As industries integrate and consumer demands evolve, enterprises have to become more open and flexible.
Essentially, marketplace advantages will come from within an organization, as has traditionally been the case, and also externally from the ecosystem in which they operate - forming a combination of both competitive and ecological advantages. The ICT ecosystem will be more open, dynamic, and symbiotic. Every enterprise, big or small, can take part in this interdependent, symbiotic, and regenerative community of common interests, as long as it has its own unique value and makes its own unique contribution. This will lead to an era of broad alliances where influential, luminary companies and talent.
How are these new ecosystems different from what we have seen in the past, in terms of collaboration and partnerships?
To better prepare for inherent uncertainties in our future smart society, we will unite as many people as it possibly can, grow the market, and share benefits more expansively. Huawei has only set its sights on 1% of the huge digital transformation pie, leaving the rest to its partners.
Huawei is building an open, dynamic cloud ecosystem with a competitive suite of products, open architecture, and open APIs. On the subject of partnership, Huawei has been actively establishing industry alliances to lead industry development and foster collective growth.
In addition, we have been establishing strategic business alliances to ensure customer success, and have been actively involved in open source communities to promote more community-based collaboration. As an ecosystem enabler, we [also] actively participate in the formation of industry alliances.
In addition to industry alliances, we’re forging strategic business alliances with our partners. Together, we develop solutions that help our customers succeed. We’ve also invested in a huge platform for developers, and actively contribute to open source communities. We’re trying to draw in as many talented players as we can to fully flesh out the value chain.
Can you give some examples of the work Huawei has done and any developments upcoming in 2017?
Huawei aims to become an enabler and driver of the intelligent world. For example, We have allocated $1 billion over five years to its Developer Enablement Plan. Huawei aims to attract one million developers to its open developer enablement and innovation collaboration platform by 2020.
Continuing the drive in 2017, Huawei will intensify involvement in open source communities for ICT, pushing industries to open up, integrate, and innovate especially among local industries and players within the region.
At the industry layer, the 5G Vertical Industry Accelerator (5GVIA) is an industry alliance set up by Huawei. We have plans to connect our 5G Internet of Vehicles (IoV) system with automaker factories in real time, helping them integrate and test new 5G IoV services more efficiently.
Within the region, Huawei has established many strategic partnerships, such as the Indonesia FTTH Association (IFA) and the Small Cell Industry Alliance in Indonesia.
How do you see ICT trends for 2017?
By 2017, Huawei expects to be supporting more than 3 billion mobile broadband connections, with speeds of up to 1 Gbps for 4.5G networks. We will be able to support 1 billion cellular IoT connections. Achieving these goals will require innovation in technology and business models, as well as cross-industry collaboration. Huawei will focus on spectrum, air interfaces, network architecture, integrated base stations and user experience-based operations.
Looking ahead to 2020, the lives of people all around the world will be enriched by the ubiquity of ultra-broadband (such as FTTx, 4.5G/5G, Wi-Fi), the limitlessness of the cloud, the experience provided by 4K and VR video services and the intelligent Smart Home.
To address the demand from the consumer, Huawei is in a position to cooperate with operators and other business partners such as content provider and more to position video as a basic telecoms service.
Mobile networks have become fundamental tools for doing business, and wireless devices are omnipresent in our professional and personal lives. In the next five to 10 years, 5G networks will deliver ultra-low latency, super-high throughput and massive numbers of connections. They will usher in entirely new ways to do business, create new industries and drive unprecedented economic and societal growth.
Cloudification is a huge step for any company, one that involves in-depth transformation. The cloud is important. However, what’s more important is generating practical value from the cloud shaping the cloud to create business value.
Huawei has been one of the industry leaders in developing NB-IoT. How do you see the maturity of that technology and are there any business use cases which highlight where this technology can take us?
Huawei’s NB-IoT solution, launched in September, includes an IoT platform, mobile base station and a partner-designed smart device enabled by Huawei’s LiteOS. The mobile base stations can smoothly evolve to support NB-IoT with software upgrades.
More than 20 of the world’s largest mobile operators have committed to supporting NB-IoT. Huawei has worked with global partners to conduct end to end vertical industry service and applications testing to meet customer needs, catalyze industry innovation, and optimize technical solutions.
Even before the standardization was set, Huawei had been conducting joint NB-IoT projects with operators and partners in the South Pacific and Europe. To mature the ecosystem, we are helping operators build NB-IoT open labs to accelerate the development of smart NB-IoT devices and applications. Huawei recently launched SoftRadio, a software suite that allows developers to access NB-IoT labs via the internet for remote innovation and commissioning.
What is the vision for ultra-broadband and what it can deliver, and how it can integrate with some of the other newer technologies?
Entering the Gigaband era 4K video and cloud services will boost user demand for ultra-broadband, which is accelerating many countries’ economic development. Huawei has defined our Gigaband development strategy in terms of bandwidth, coverage, and experience. In terms of bandwidth, we will upgrade broadband networks from 100 Mbps to 10Gps by continuously innovating access technologies.
To realize this vision Huawei engages proactively in joint innovation with our partners across critical fields of industry development such as 5G, NFV/ SDN, cloud services and digital transformation.
This article was first appeared in Telecom Asia Vision 2017 Supplement